Body Integrity Identity Disorder Beyond Amputation: Consent and Liberty

Abstract

In this article, I argue that persons suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) can give informed consent to surgical measures designed to treat this disorder. This is true even if the surgery seems radical or irrational to most people. The decision to have surgery made by a BIID patient is not necessarily coerced, incompetent or uninformed. If surgery for BIID is offered, there should certainly be a screening process in place to insure informed consent. It is beyond the scope of this work, however, to define all the conditions that should be placed on the availability of surgery. However, I argue, given the similarities between BIID and gender dysphoria and the success of such gatekeeping measures for the surgical treatment of gender dysphoria, it is reasonable that similar conditions be in place for BIID. Once other treatment options are tried and gatekeeping measures satisfied, A BIID patient can give informed consent to radical surgery.

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Correspondence to Amy White.

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White, A. Body Integrity Identity Disorder Beyond Amputation: Consent and Liberty. HEC Forum 26, 225–236 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10730-014-9246-4

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Keywords

  • Body integrity identity disorder
  • Informed consent
  • Radical surgery